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The creation of a line or collection that is presented for sale during a specific time period
How many collections per year?
- 50s/60s = 2 lines per year
- 70s = 4 lines per year
- 80s/90s = 10-12 lines per year (3 spring, 3 fall, 1 summer, 2 holiday, + resort, etc)
Why does the customer want more product lines per year?
- Consumer desire for constant change
- Accessibility to trend information (via Internet)
- Increased regional distinction
- Faster product cycles
Product developer's goals and responsibilities
- Understanding: the target consumer
- Conceptualization: visualize new ideas and communicate concepts
- Creation: development of finished styles
- Must share the critical eye of the target marget
- Details (including graphics)
How does our line differ from the competition?
- Does it hit a new market?
- Does it fulfill a void in an existing market?
- Price issues
- Is the line design-driven or price-driven?
- Basics vs. fashion items
- Fabric-driven or silhouette-driven?
- Fit, function, or fashion, or can we integrate all of them?
- Keep it directed (not too many different styles)
- Bottoms- or tops-driven?
- Pick an item or two to anchor the line
- What categories do we need to cover?
How do we represent silhouettes?
- Is our logo important?
- Are we a graphics-driven line?
- Types of graphics
- Prints, embroideries, etc.
- Size and location of graphics
- Line: visual path the eye follows when viewing a garment
- Shape: basic shape of garment
- Texure: surface variations, fabrics
- The overall outline of a garment
- Created by the cut and construction of a garment
- Can reveal or disguise the natural body contour (most flattering = hides least attractive feature and highlights most attractive)
How garment lines create LENGTH
- Narrow center panel or button placket
- Vertical trimming
- Princess seams
- Neck to hem closing
How garment lines create WIDTH
- Widely spaced vertical lines
- Large bold horizontal stripes
- Large stripes, even vertical ones
- Rhythm (unity or unified look)
- Harmony (lines of a garment)
- How lines and shapes divide the space, garment, or outfit into parts
- Involves the relationship of one part/space compared to another, compared to the whole garment, and to the body
- Uneven proportions/ratios are generally more interesting
- Refers to how lines, shapes, colors, textures, and patterns are used to break up an area or space into parts
- Can increase or decrease apparent visual weight
- Can be symmetrical or asymmetrical
- Both sides are EXACTLY the same (mirror image)
- Gives a very solid and professional look
- Aka "formal balance"
- Tends to draw attention to a particular area
- Aka "informal balance"
- A dominant focal point in a garment or outfit created by the use of line, shape, color, texture, and/or pattern
- A point for the eye to rest on for a period of time
- An outfit without a dominant point of interest appears boring/unfinished
- There can be TOO much emphasis = distracting, confusing
- Refers to how attention is led around the garment or the outfit
- Achieved when the lines, shapes, colors, textures, or patterns are arranged to lead the viewer's eye easily from one part of the garment to another
Rhythm by repetition
- Repitition of line, shape, color, texture, or pattern within the design
- Ex: row of buttons, trim on collar and cuffs
Rhythm by gradation
- Gradual change in lines, shapes, color values, or textures within a design
- Degree of change must be SMALL so-as not to be choppy
Rhythm by radiation
Lines, shapes, colors, or textural folds inward or outward from a central point or area
- Use of lines, shapes, colors, textures, and patterns with enough variety to avoid boredom, but not enough to create conflict
- Balance of variety and unity
When the design has differences to create interest
- A sense of completeness
- When nothing is missing, left out, or undone
- Time it takes from beginning the line development process to shipment of the styles to the retailer
- Desire for more product lines = merchandisers must work to streamline the development process
How do we speed up the line development process?
- QR philosophy
- Video conferencing (production & sales meetings)
- Access to product information 24/7
- Need to establish a creative environment for design team (might be different from that of the rest of the corporation)
- Create smaller, designer-friendly area for cross-pollination of ideas
Methods for developing design ideas
- Buying actual garments (for fit, fabric, detailing, construction...)
- Collecting tear sheets > concept boards
- Sketching design ideas (croquis & CAD)
- Shows styles, colors, fabrics, and sizes
- Based on project volume or desired SKU plan
- Need to create sufficient design to meet projected sales
- Balance for fashion content based on target market
Line plan advantages
- A control method for designers
- Breaks the creative process into smaller units
- Breaks the line into price categories
- Easy way to monitor the creative process
- 1) Fabrics selected
- 2) Color palette chosen
- 3) Silhouettes created
- Created for each style
- Includes a style #, fabric, colors, description, size range
- First sample
- Used for fit purposes & initial price idea
- Produced in whatever fabric & color is available
Sets of patterns for each basic garment type produced by the company
- Factory-produced using detailed spec sheet
- Prototype process provides an opportunity for costing data
- Merchandiser can use this data plus historical costing info to estimate costs for any given style
- Styles may be dropped or revised based on pre-costing
- Initital specs sent to factor for proto
- Corrections based on proto samples then added to spec sheet
- Product engineering - can we reduce cost by adjusting patterns?
- Care labels - wash instructions, country of origin, fabric content, RN #
- Detailed cost to manufacture a garment
- -Fabric consumption
- -Labor costs
- -Trim costs
- -Embellishment costs
- -Finishing costs
- -Packaging costs
Final line adoption
- Point at which it is decided which styles will be a part of the line
- Line is reviewed constantly throughout the development process